For truckers dreaming of a white Christmas, the Northeast is the place to be. Accumulating snowfall is likely to favor interior locations, including eastern Great Lakes cities. It will be nice for drivers who make it home for the holiday, but not necessarily for those working through it.
This system will not be as disruptive as the record-breaking storm that dumped more than 40 inches of snowfall in parts of the Northeast last week. However, the combination of snowfall and high winds will slow down surface and air transportation, as well as supply chains and some business operations.
The fast-moving storm will track across the region from late Christmas Eve into Christmas Day (Thursday into Friday), fading Christmas afternoon or evening. Snowfall accumulations in most of the potential impact zone will range from 4 to 8 inches, with a few isolated spots getting 10 inches or more. The highest amounts are likely to blanket areas downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario, where lake-effect snowfall will persist.
Wind gusts could reach 30 to 40 mph across much of the impact zone, but may be as strong as 50 mph at times. This will cause significant blowing and drifting snow, as well as possible blizzard and whiteout conditions.
Cities where drivers may have the most trouble include Charleston, West Virginia; Cleveland; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; and Pittsburgh. Interstate highways within this zone include I-70, I-76, I-79, I-80, I-81, I-86 and I-90.
Look for some Christmas snowfall in high elevations of the Cascades and northern Rockies too.